Wheels Up, a NYC-based private aviation membership company, completed a Series D funding round of $128m.
The round, which brought the post-money enterprise valuation to north of $1.1 billion, was co led by funds managed by Franklin Templeton and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Management & Research, with participation from other institutional and private investors.
The company intends to use the capital to fund a number of business initiatives, including:
– additional potential acquisitions,
– the acceleration of membership growth through further investment in sales and marketing, and
– scaling of its technology and digital platforms.
The raise follows the recent acquisition of Travel Management Company, which closed in May 2019.
Led by Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation company that aims to reduce the upfront costs to fly privately, while providing safety and quality. The company currently offers a total private aviation solution for its 6,000+ members across North America through three membership options: Connect, Core, and Business, and a selection of program features.
Wheels Up Core and Business Members receive guaranteed access to a members-only fleet of 93 King Air 350i, Citation Excel/XLS and Citation X aircraft (operated exclusively by Gama Aviation), up to 365 days a year, with as little as 24 hours’ notice, paying fixed hourly rates for time flown only.
The Wheels Up Charter Marketplace, a new and innovative digital feature available on the Wheels Up App, allows members to search an inventory of 1,000+ safety-vetted and verified partner operator aircraft with real-time pricing that can be instantly booked.
The new Connect Membership provides access to the Charter Marketplace, as well as features designed to reduce the cost of flying private through sharing with The Community, Shared Flights, Hot Flights, and Shuttle Flights.
The company does not operate aircraft. FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers participating in the program exercise full operational control of all flights offered by or arranged through the company’s platforms.